Focal passages: Genesis 2:4-9, 15-18
Throughout scripture, God’s breath signifies the imparting of life. In Ezekiel 37, it is the Lord’s breath that enters dry bones to make them truly live. “Thus says the LORD God to these bones: Behold I will cause breath to enter you and you shall live …” (v. 5).
In our passage this week in Genesis 2, we have the privilege of taking a closer look at day six in the creation account in which God creates His masterpiece, mankind.
As the crown of His creation and His final work, God formed man out of dust and “breathed into his nostrils the breath of life …” (v. 7).
In both of these passages, the Hebrew word for breath can also be translated as spirit.
How beautifully significant that God’s breath is what makes man a “living being” (v. 7).
Not only does God give life to Adam, He also gives him a place to call home. In verse 8, we learn that God puts the man in the Garden of Eden. He gives him purpose in the Garden – “to work it and keep it” (v. 15) – and commands him to not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (v. 17).
This prohibition was not the stinginess of an uncaring, uninvolved God. It was a warning issued for the protection of life. It was a call to obedience and trust in God’s provision.
After all, God had given every other tree in the Garden to Adam for food and ultimately knew what was best for His creation (v. 16).
God also addresses Adam’s need for a life companion by creating a complementary helper suitable for him.
From the very beginning in the goodness of His creation, God designed marriage to be between one man and one woman. Both Adam and Eve were living beings made in the image of God and created with specific and unique roles to fulfill.
He gave them important work to do as stewards of the earth.
Next week, as we study the fall of humanity, we will recognize that obedience to God brings fulfillment and disobedience leads to death.